The state government is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the Metro 3 car shed remains at Aarey. On Thursday, Ashwini Bhide, the managing director of the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC), announced that the car shed for the underground Line 3 (Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ) will be ready for Phase 1 operations by April 2023.
Bhide said work is in progress at full speed, considering that the Phase 1 stretch between BKC and SEEPZ is scheduled for December 2023 opening.
Bhide said, “To meet the deadline, certain improvements have been made in the plan. We are in talks with our consultants to ensure that the depot work is expedited. Moreover, the amount of work expected to be carried out for the depot for Phase 1 operation has been prioritised.”
She said the important part is the operations control centre (OCC), but a backup is ready at the BKC station even if it gets delayed. Bhide added that the provision for the OCC was planned at BKC from the start. “With the OCC at BKC, and the stabling line for nine rakes at Aarey, we can go ahead with the commissioning of Phase 1,” she said. Bhide added that when the depot work received stop-work notice, 29 per cent was already complete.
Bhide said, in 2050, this line will require 55 rakes, for which an additional hectare of land may be needed. “However, additional land will be considered only after 2040. With changes in technology in the coming years, the requirements may be different. We may have some space to stabilise rakes in the station area as well,” she said.
According to MMRC, so far 84 per cent of Phase I civil work has been completed, tunnelling is 100 per cent complete, and systems work has attained 43 per cent completion. As it will be commissioned by December 2023, the trial run will be called three months before the targeted deadline. By June 2023, the entire Phase 1 will be completed, said Bhide.
Meanwhile, despite the escalation in project cost, Bhide clarified that the ticket fare will remain equivalent to other upcoming metro lines.